Sunday, December 21, 2008

Big Muscles - Not As Easy As It Looks

As Americans, we are constantly looking for a quick fix. Building Big Muscles is no exception. We continually seek the easiest and quickest way to obtain the best results. However, in the case of true bodybuilding, quick and easy are not parts of the workout regiment. While that might be discouraging to some, future muscle men and woman take heart, with the right training and good technique that ripped body might be closer than you think.

First things first, take some time to learn from the pros. Pick-up a good workout book from your local bookstore or library and find out what works for professionals. In addition, consider hiring the expertise of a trainer. They can get you started on a solid workout program, targeted to meet your specific goals in building Big Muscles.

Keep in mind that old adage, “RomeWasn’t Built in a Day,” as you are starting your Big Muscles program. Consider targeting specific areas. Perhaps you want rock hard abs. Take some time on exercises that will work this area. If you are looking to firm up all over, start with a basic program to get everything in good general condition, then build-up specific parts as you start to see results.

Make the commitment to go the extra mile. Building a great body with Big Muscles is a lot of hard work. It is not something that comes quickly or easily, but if you go into a program with realistic expectation of results, you will be pleasantly surprised at how you will begin to see progress. With that being said, you need to start out with a solid program and make the time to do it on a regular basis. Once a week is not going to cut it. A solid fitness program requires a minimum of four days a week.

Anyone who has started an exercise program can tell you that the first week is the easiest. The third and fourth weeks are when the true test begins. When things get tough and you think you are not making progress keep telling yourself “I will stay the course.” Also, remember that everyone hits plateaus in their workout programs. Keeping this in mind at the onset will help you through those difficult times. Another thing to consider is that even if you are not seeing results outwardly, there are immense changes taking place inside. Think about starting your program with a body fat reading. When things seem to be leveling out, go in for another reading. There is a good chance you have seen a decrease in this area even if it does not show yet.

Big Book Of Muscle Building Advice (Ebook Killer Version)
The A- Z Guide to Building Gaining Muscle Mass Building Muscles Mass with Proper Diet and Nutrition

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Body Beautiful

BRISBANE: In a former life, buff Brisbane body builder Vicky Thomas was unfit, out of shape and struggling for motivation.

While the 37-year-old wasn’t fat, she wasn’t a lean, mean muscle machine either.

But in a decade of dedication, Ms Thomas hoisted herself to the top of the Australian body building arena and then moved on to conquer the world in New York.

Ms Thomas was last month crowned Ms Fitbody at the International Natural BodyBuilding Federation (INBF) titles in America, a totally drug-free competition.

“It was a great thrill to win,” Ms Thomas said.

“It made all the commitment worthwhile and now I want to win more international titles next year.”

The heady heights of world acclaim are a long way from the day Ms Thomas took the first step toward changing her body image and turned her life around with a gym membership 10 years ago.

“I started going to my local gym to lose weight and tone up. I decided to try my first figure contest less than six months ago and in that short amount of time I have won two Australian titles and a world title,” she said.

“It’s a lot easier to lose fat than people think.

“There’s no trick to it it’s just consistency.

“There has to be a deficit in the amount of calories you put into your body and the amount you burn off through exercise.”

The next goal on Ms Thomas’ agenda is the World Championships in 2009 but to achieve her ambition she needs some financial support.

“I aim to compete at the World Championships again in 2009 and am eagerly seeking sponsors to help further my competition career.”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barack Obama To Get Body-Building Help From Arnold Schwarzenegger

Barack Obama to get body-building help from Arnold Schwarzenegger
By Tom Leonard
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 24/11/2008

Barack Obama: mainly free weights, 50lb overhead dumbbell extensions, 80lb calf rises, 45-minute gym sessions six days a week. Michelle Obama: cross-training, a mix of strength and cardio exercises usually involving weights, treadmill and stair-stepper, 90-minute sessions three times a week.

The President-Elect gyms six times a week

How do we know? Because the intimidating details of the First Couple-Elect's workout schedules have been dug out by an admiring US media and relayed to a similarly impressed nation.

I worry that the consensus among American and European fans about the Obamas' wonderfulness may not survive the increasingly lurid revelations about their devotion to the gym.

In London, such behaviour would generally be regarded as borderline sociopathic. A British politician need only be photographed on a bicycle to denote a man of action.

Over here, a newspaper can report that Obama has a resting pulse of 60 and not feel that it needs to tell readers whether that is good or bad. Few need to be told what such gym-honed body adjectives as "ripped", "pumped" and "buffed" mean either.

And now Arnold Schwarzenegger has revealed that he and Obama have been talking serious weights and possible job opportunities.

The California governor and former bodybuilding champion's jibes during the campaign about "scrawny" Obama seem to have struck home. Arnie says the President-Elect intends to build a huge gym in the White House and wants his help in "bulking up".

No more skinny Mr Nice Guy, just two ripped dudes with troops to pull out and bad guys still to nail in Afghanistan. The boys on the weights machines may be whooping, but it sounds ominous.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Aurora Resident Wins 1st Place In Bodybuilding

Stephanie Spencer, 26, was the overall Women's Figure winner of the 2008 NPC Cyto Charge Rocky Mountian Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Competition "The Rocky", put on by The Rocky Mountain National Physique Committee competition on Nov. 15, 2008 at East High School in Denver .

NPC is the largest and most prestigious amateur body building, fitness and figure organization in the USA . It also is the only avenue to the IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) - the ultimate in professional bodybuilding, fitness and figure competitions. Colorado is the home to 10 IFBB pros!

Spencer was among 41competitors from six area states to present her amazing physique with specific poses and great stage presents in the 1 piece and the 2 piece suite rounds.

Spencer prepared for the meet with two first place wins earlier this year. She won first place in her height class in the figure competition at the Axis Labs Northern Colorado Bodybuilding, Fitness Show at the Boulder Theatre in April 5. She also won first place in the overall inMarch at the Mountain States Peak Performance Competition at Grandview High School in Aurora.

She has been working out for about two years at Ambrust Pro Gym, Arvada, and the Colorado Athletic Club, downtown Denver.

A new civil engineer, Spencer is a 2008 honors graduate of the University of Colorado-Denver. At graduation, Spencer won top student awards from both the Colorado Engineering Council and the American Society of Civil Engineers. She is employed as a Stuctural Engineer TITLE at MWH Global company name, Denver.

Wish Stephanie well at the NCP in Las Vegas next June!

Cheering for her at her competitions are her parents, her mother and stepfather Cathy and Joe Kandalec of Denver and her boyfriend Scott Reed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

John Hansen a Natural for Bodybuilding Hall of Fame

On November 8th, Mr. Natural Olympia and host of John Hansen was inducted into the Natural Bodybuilding Hall of Fame. It was the first such event to induct members, and was held on the night of the Natural Olympia Championships. Both events took place in San Francisco. John Hansen is an Optimum Nutrition (ON) Athlete and regularly appears at the company’s booth during major bodybuilding events.

“I am happy to announce that Denny Kakos, president of the INBA, and his wife Diana selected me to be among the first inductees to the Natural Bodybuilding Hall of Fame,” John Hansen said in a statement. “The fact that this honor occurred on the night of the Natural Olympia competition makes it all the more special to me.” John Hansen won the Mr. Natural Olympia Professional title in 1998, and was twice crowned Natural Mr. Universe (1992 and 1996).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Tribute to Extraordinary Courage

...a tribute to extraordinary courage

Mr Manipur Kh. Pradipkumar Singh
Based on a true story, Aribam Syam Sarma’s Mr Manipur is a tribute to Kh. Pradipkumar Singh — a household name in the state — who has won a bodybuilding title and is living a life of dignity despite being diagnosed with HIV eight years ago.

The 22-minute documentary begins with a few close and mid-close shots of a muscleman doing various exercises in the gym, followed by night shots of a bodybuilding competition.

Soon, the results are out announcing Pradipkumar as the winner.

Sarma then goes on to unravel the extraordinary story behind the seemingly ordinary feat.

Newspaper clippings scroll to reveal that Pradipkumar is HIV positive, a fact corroborated by the champion himself at a gathering of eminent personalities: “I am a HIV-positive person and I came to know that in 2000. Since then I am undergoing anti-retroviral therapy. I appeal to the persons with HIV to accept their status.….”

He is made brand ambassador of the Manipur AIDS Control Society and is conferred the honour by the Manipur health minister at a glittering function.

The director’s use of interviews instead of background narration to enlighten the viewers has made the documentary interesting. His drug addiction, contracting the dreaded disease and then going on to win two championships in Pradipkumar’s own passionate but restrained words have lent the documentary a personal touch.

So have his parents’ interviews.

Equally impressive is his doctor’s statement about the process of treatment and his unmatched mental courage and conviction to recover from the disease.

In another interview, he comes across a “miracle man” who has become an inspiration to people living with HIV.

The documentary has been selected for the prestigious 7th MIAAC Film Festival in New York to be held under the auspices of the Indo-American Arts Council from November 5.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Science Behind Bodybuilding

WORLAND, Wyo. - There may not be a sport where the disparity between preparation and performance is wider.

Consider up to 20 years of muscle building, a year or more of intense cardiovascular training, and, arguably the most difficult part, 17 to 20 weeks on a designer diet, developed to maximize calorie deficit and protein intake in order to decrease body fat to below 3 percent.

All this preparation for what amounts to just a few minutes on stage. Welcome to the world of competition body building.

Considering the amount of necessary preparation, the sport is relatively new to Matt Jordan. And after an extended break to attend to business and family, the sport is new again for Marc Bennett.

The two workout partners took a trip to the Rocky Mountain Body Building Championships in Denver last year. The televised competition is a national qualifier and attracts around 200 body builders from several states. Bennett had competed in the event two times before, the last time being nine years ago.

"I wanted to see what it was like," said Jordan. "We thought it would be fun to try and compete in it this year."

So after a year of intense training, the duo will hit the highway to compete in the high-profile competition this weekend.

Competing in athletics isn't new to either Worland resident. Bennett, who owns Worland Health Club with wife Jodi Bennett and turned 38 just last Friday, was a collegiate wrestling standout. Jordan also competed as a high school wrestler.

Bennett never lost the competitive spirit of his wrestling days and has been body building off and on for the past 15 years, including five competitions. For Jordan, 33, staying in shape has always been a priority. This will be his first body building competition.

Although the training requirements for body building may be very specific to the sport, the wrestling experience has helped both competitors get used to the intense program. The biggest similarity is weight control.

Bennett said that while the age of 38 may not be described with terms like "spring chicken" in many sports, body building's top professionals are typically in their mid-30s to mid-40s.

He said it can take 20 years to develop the proper muscle mass. Whereas a person could healthily lose a pound of fat a week, it can be quite a task to build three pounds of muscle in a year, he said.

The diet and cardiovascular portions of preparation are necessary to bring the muscle mass to the surface.

"The whole object is to display as much muscle as you can and as little body fat as possible, because that's what allows you to see the muscle," said Bennett.

Body builders do this by creating a calorie deficit through diet and low-intensity, high fat-burning cardio workouts.

This portion of preparation generally takes 17-20 weeks in advance of a competition. This is also the period of time when the athlete begins to feel the physical effects of their sport. Simply put, with less energy from the calorie deficiency and extremely low body-fat percentage, the athlete becomes tired, hungry and _ yes _ grumpy.

According to Bennett and Jordan, this is the most difficult part of their sport.

"When they're hungry all the time, just like anyone else, they tend to lose patience a little quicker," Jodi Bennett said.

Jordan said the calorie deficit and muscle building is truly a delicate balancing act.

"I'm eating six times a day," he said. "Now, those meals don't fill me up as much as I would like. In order to lose the fat during the 17-20 week prep period, you can't starve yourself. You'll lose all the muscle. You have to work hard to maintain the muscle while the fat comes off slowly."

Jodi Bennett said the body builders' commitment to competing without performance-enhancing substances serves as an example for others.

"It can be done, and they can win (without performance enhancers)," she said. "They can do fantastic and have a great time and still be a role model. It's important that this is how they represent Worland and themselves."

The athletes don't dwell on the fact they may be competing against other body builders using performance enhancers.

"It is important to a point," said Jordan. "It's not something that I even worry about. If there was a magic pill, then everybody would be taking it. The magic pill is hard work, it's in the gym every day. It's keeping to your diet and not cheating."

Bennett previously qualified for the national competition but declined to participate because of business and family responsibilities at the time. This time, however, his ultimate goal is to finish in the top five in his weight class at the national competition.

Jordan said he's looking for fun in his first competition.

Both athletes have bigger priorities immediately following this weekend's show. For Bennett _ spicy enchiladas and zucchini bread. For Jordan _ anything as long as there is a lot of it.

Information from: Northern Wyoming Daily News,

By Bob Vines

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Five easy pieces to a bodybuilding lifestyle - part one

If you're ready to get in shape and stay fit here's the first of five easy steps to begin a bodybuilding lifestyle. I'm in the middle of a Jack Nicholson Movie Marathon. Hence the "five easy pieces" reference.

1. Equip yourself with a home gym.You don't need a lot of space for this, certainly not a whole room. I workout most of the time in my living room which is about 10 x 10 feet and my actual floor space is about 7 x 4 feet. One tip, get compact equipment or a gym that's portable and easy to store away.If you’re a beginner, or haven’t done resistance training in a while, start with a resistance band or a set of bands.

If you have the money purchase a set of pro-grade Beach Body bands starting at $29.95 for a set of 6 bands. I’ve owned several other brands over the years and theirs are the best quality I’ve found. I’ve actually broke two sets of Richard Simmons bands. If you buy only one band make sure it’s challenging enough that you can only perform 8 to 12 repetitions per set before feeling a burn in your muscles.

Other excellent products to start your home gym are adjustable weight dumbbells. I own and recommend Bowflex SelectTech 220 Dumbbells. a pull up or chin up bar, push up stands. I own and recommend BodyRev Perfect Push Ups,and if you can afford one, a portable gym like MyGym, Total Gym, The Bean Flex 10, or Bowflex.

One of the best workouts you can get requires no free weights, bands, or portable gyms. Use your body weight for resistance. You can build a great physique with isometrics and calisthenics like squats, push ups, pull ups, lunges, calf raises, chair dips, and more. Power 90X relies heavily on these moves and I've achieved my best results with it.

For an inexpensive solution for aerobics workouts buy several exercise videos. Variety will keep your workouts fresh and you'll be less likely to quit. For video recommendations read my recent article on the best exercise videos for beginners.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Keeping Fitness Interesting

Professional figure competitor Debbie Leung keeps her workouts varied
By Cary Castagna

Variety is the spice of gym life for Debbie Leung.

The 34-year-old Alberta bombshell, you see, doesn't like to do the same workout twice.
It's a training concept developed partly to stave off boredom. But it also ensures that Leung blasts her taut, shapely muscles from different angles. Blindsides 'em and keeps 'em guessing, in other words.

"Every workout, I'm trying to do something different. ... You're switching it up constantly, so your body doesn't know what's hitting it," she explains. "Because each workout's different, my body is always shocked with it and it stimulates the muscle fibres."
Leung knows what she's talking about.

The five-foot-two hard body competes in professional figure contests - a streamlined offshoot of bodybuilding - in the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB).
She's also vice-president of the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).

The Winnipeg-born Leung, now living in Calgary with hubby David Leung - who is serving as ABBA president - began religiously pumping iron about a decade ago.
She recalls that she first dabbled with weights while studying physical therapy at the University of Winnipeg.

Thanks to a sedentary post-secondary lifestyle, Leung had succumbed to the dreaded Freshman 15.

"I just sat on my butt and ate, and put on my 15 pounds," she says, noting she soon managed to sweat off that excess weight and found a new hobby in the process.
In 1998, a couple of years after graduating as a physical therapist, Leung took the Body-for-Life challenge - a 12-week healthy living contest based on the book of the same name by American fitness guru Bill Phillips.

By then, Leung was already hooked on weights.

After making some solid progress in the gym, she decided to take her bulging biceps and hop onto the posing dais in 2000.

Leung won the lightweight class in her first show - the 2000 Southern Alberta Bodybuilding Championships - which heralded a meteoric rise through the sport's tiered ranks.

She captured a provincial bodybuilding title in 2001 and a national title in 2002, before making the switch to figure competition.

The following year she took her class at figure nationals. And in 2004, she turned pro by virtue of an overall triumph at figure nationals.

Leung's pro career has been highlighted by a 16th-place finish at the IFBB's prestigious Figure Olympia and three top-15 appearances at the Figure International.

These days, Leung - who competes at around 115 pounds while weighing 125 pounds in the offseason - hits Gold's Gym in Calgary three times a week.

The owner of a physical therapy and acupuncture business doesn't waste much time during her 45-minute weight-training throwdowns.

While taking minimal rest between exercises, Leung strives to perform as many sets as she can in the short period of time.

She describes it as "boot camp-style," noting she executes a variety of athletic-type exercises, including plyometrics.

"It almost seems like I'd wither away doing what I do," she explains. "But you don't lose a blink of muscle and it keeps everything tight year-round."

In addition to weights, Leung does cardio four times a week for 30-45 minutes. As expected, she's not partial to one particular piece of cardio equipment.

"I'll use everything - the StepMill, different ellipticals, the treadmill, inclines, flats, sprinting," she says. "That's the key - keep changing it."

Prior to a contest, Leung jacks up her training frequency to five weight workouts and 10 cardio sessions per week.

She also follows a stringent pre-contest diet.

"Right now, I eat everything. If I'm dieting, it's obviously stricter," she says, pointing out that she consumes a lot of high-protein foods, fruits and veggies, dairy and some starch fare.
Although bodybuilding has been a big part of her life for the past eight years, Leung - who ran track in her younger years - isn't afraid to give new sports a go.

She tried skeleton (similar to bobsled and luge) for a year, has her yellow belt in judo and recently took up Aussie rules football with the Calgary Kookaburras.

"I'm always up for trying new sports. If I like them, I stick around," she says. "I don't necessarily get bored. I just like to keep things a little bit more interesting."

As ABBA vice-president, Leung is helping to organize an entry-level bodybuilding show this weekend in Edmonton. The 2008 Alberta Annual Fall Classic is slated for Saturday at the Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts, 10210 108 Ave. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

For more on Leung, visit

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't be fooled by protein gimmicks

Save money by sticking to the basics
Colin Kennedy
The Daily Evergreen

With the increasing popularity of health supplements, particularly weightlifting supplements, there seems to be an increasing lack of clarity as to what some actually contain. While protein powders originally started as just that, popular protein supplements are now advertised as containing numerous ingredients that will cause “muscle-bursting pumps” and many other fancy promises that may not mean much to the average consumer.

The label of the popular Nitro-Tech protein formula advertises that the product contains “ultra-absorption of nanoparticulated amino acid peptides.” Oh, yeah – those. I once had a buddy tell me I need to try the protein blend he was using because its label claimed that it “alters your DNA.” What does that even mean? Is this a promise to build some muscle, or a suggestion that I could sprout a third arm and get prostate cancer if I use the product?

Supplement manufacturers tend to exaggerate the benefits of the miraculous compounds they mix into their protein blends. Such marketing allows them to sell these products at much higher prices. However, a general knowledge of the various kinds of protein beneficial to muscle gain can allow one to purchase the right products without spending too much extra cash.

The two primary types of protein critical to the lifter’s arsenal are whey protein and casein protein. Whey protein is derived from milk and is the fast-absorbing protein, making it ideal for consumption immediately after a workout. It also contains most of the protein in common supplements.

Most bodybuilding sources recommend taking 20 to 40 grams of whey protein within an hour of lifting weights, as timely protein uptake is critical for muscle repair. Many bodybuilders will have a scoop of whey prior to their workout, as well, to prevent muscle fatigue. Additionally, whey protein is beneficial in the morning because it allows for fast absorption after your muscles have been starved of any protein for eight hours.

Casein protein also can be critical in achieving muscle gain, but is less used by weightlifters. Casein is the slow-digesting protein, making it optimal for consumption before bed. According to, casein protein forms a gel when it reaches the stomach and can take more than twice as long to digest than whey protein. When you go to sleep, your body will be starved until breakfast, so a slowly-released protein is ideal to feed your muscles throughout the night.
In addition to powder supplements, casein protein can be found in various food products. For example, according to Men’s Health magazine, cottage cheese is an excellent source of casein that can allow one to feel full for a longer period of time.

Don’t want to spend the bucks on two different proteins? Many supplements offer whey-casein combinations, which are also beneficial for shakes.

When purchasing a protein supplement, try not to focus on the countless enzymes and miracle compounds advertised on the label. Identifying the specific type of protein in the supplement can ensure you are feeding your body at the proper times and can end up saving you some cash.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Secret of Bodybuilding

Body building as all of us know is about building muscles and giving a proper shape to the body. It is about growing the muscles that remain hidden in a man's body. But building these muscles and making them visible needs lot of hard work.

NOT ONLY does body building need pumping of iron but also requires lot of thought into what one eats and how the rest is taken. If a person is opting to do bodybuilding, then there is a lot, which has to be taken care of like the diets, schedule, time of workouts.

The diet is considered to be one one of the most important factor, when it comes to bodybuilding. While professional have a good knowledge about that and knows exactly what diet suits his body, there are many who are oblivious of these facts. Those bodybuilders use a number of ways to maximise the muscle hypertrophy.

The first one is the strength training, in which they train by lifting heavy weights.

The second is the special nutrition, which contains loads of protein content that they should take for maximum muscle building.

The third factor is the adequate rest period, in which the builders should slow down a bit and relax their body so that their body gets a break, which is also very important for continuous processing, which includes adequate sleep and breaks between workouts.

The fourth and the most important is the water factor which comes into play. They take adequate amount of water during and after the workout session to prevent dehydration.

Body building is an activity, which helps one to achieve the highest level of physique. Arnold is one of the famous body builders of the past and was known for his massive body. He won the Mr Olympia title seven times and the title of Mr Universe three times.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Best Fitness Books For Men

Best Fitness Books For Men
by Carol Bardelli, Fitness Examiner

Effective workouts don't have to be done in a gym.Like women, you guys out there need a balanced approach to fitness. Your best bet is a combination of resistance training and aerobic exercise. Unfortunately, few books cover both topics thoroughly. These three books give you excellent coverage of muscle building and resistance training. Add in some jogging, biking, swimming, elliptical, or better yet cross training, and you're guaranteed to achieve a fitter, sexier body.

Weight Training Workouts that Work: Volume I by James Orvis

Designed for the entry-level weight trainer, this book is a great place to start if you've never or rarely performed resistance training. At 150 pages, it's a small volume as weight lifting books go, but the subject matter is covered concisely and clearly.With twelve weeks of workouts outlined, James Orvis gives you a complete step-by-step run down on what exercises to perform and how to maintain proper form. All you need to know to launch your fitness goals are in this book.

The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins

If you're serious about getting fit this book is a must-have. Arnold Schwarzenegger teamed up with photographer Bill Dobbins to write a book like no other. This is truly "the bible of bodybuilding."This book covers advances in weight training, and also covers bodybuilding competition – an intriguing subject even if you don't plan to compete. Diverse topics are covered including diet and nutrition, dietary supplements for fat loss and muscle gain, sports psychology, treatment and prevention of injuries, and training methods. Illustrated with detailed photos of bodybuilding's greats, this book is also visually appealing.There's plenty here for all levels of expertise and experience. The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding will motivate you and help you achieve your full physical potential.

Men's Health Home Workout Bible: by Lou Schuler (Editor), Michael Mejia

Let's face it, few of us have time to spend hours in a commercial gym, let alone afford the price of gas to get there. Working out at home is a viable option. Good new and used equipment is available, often for less money than a gym membership or personal trainer fees.Lou Shuler and Michael Mejia show you how to transform an area of "your humble abode into your personal war room." They fully cover the art of resistance training. And they make it clear that commercial gyms are in no way superior to an in-home gym. "Where it really counts-results-there's zero difference between a home gym and a membership gym." Schuler is the fitness director at Men's Health magazine and author of many bodybuilding books. He knows his stuff inside and out. This book is written with the average Joe in mind, Joe six-pack who want Joe six-pack abs. All you need to know to get in shape is covered in an expert, no-nonsense writing style. You'll learn about muscle groups, how to buy effective and affordable equipment, correct lifting form, and which exercises you need to perform. Michael Mejia provides more than 200 pages of exercise programs. These routines are easy to understand and effective. You'll never get bored with your choices of routines and neither will your muscles.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The straight dope on miracle supplements

The straight dope on miracle supplements

Fitness Answer Man


There probably isn't a week that goes by that you don't hear about a new "miracle" weight-loss pill. You know: The one that promises to produce the new slim you in 30 days.
Or you take a look at the latest issue of your favorite muscle magazine, and you see one of the ads for the supplement that guarantees to work better than steroids.

The supplement companies make a lot of promises, but, in my opinion, they can't deliver.

One of the most outrageous claims I've seen from the supplement industry is from one popular diet pill. The ad I saw stated that this product would deliver fat loss "6x faster than diet and exercise alone."

Wow. The American College of Sports Medicine has determined that safe weight loss happens at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds a week. So a 250-pound man after a year of using "miracle supplement X" can expect to weigh approximately, let's see, negative 374 pounds by this company's numbers. Shenanigans!

Another silly company claims their new bodybuilding product will "literally turn on your genes to maximize your maximum muscle potential." Will it also give me superpowers? Because, if so, I'm in.

Last I heard, science is still a loooooong ways away from genetic manipulation for bodybuilding. In fact, a statement on the National Institute of Health Web site says: "Gene therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease. In the future, this technique may allow doctors to treat a disorder by inserting a gene into a patient's cells instead of using drugs or surgery."

Kudos to the supplement companies for making scientific history.

Listen. Most the supplements on the shelves should just stay there. The reason most people aren't in their best shape isn't because they aren't using the right supplements. They aren't in their best shape because they aren't doing the right things day in and day out.

Ninety-seven percent of your fitness success hinges on your adherence to a solid training program and a sound eating plan. Depending on supplements is only going to give you expensive urine. And that's the straight dope.

Chad Smith is a local fitness expert and certified personal trainer. E-mail letters to Chad at and put "Dear Fitness Answer Man" in the subject line.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's Never Too Late To Get Physical

The former millionaire restaurant owner won the Victorian Bodybuilding Championships in Melbourne on Sunday after beginning his training just five years ago ...

There’s hope for most all of us. Just check out Ray Moon.

The former millionaire restaurant owner won the Victorian Bodybuilding Championships in Melbourne on Sunday after beginning his training just five years ago. He’s overcome polio, open-heart surgery, prostate problems and financial ruin to become a body building champion. Oh, yeah. He’s 80. Nothing like a few wrinkles with your six pack.

With rippling, head-turning muscles and the stamina of a much younger man, Moon was crowned champion in the “over 60s” category of a national amateur body building competition on Sunday.

“I usually go in the “over 70s” but they cut it out, so I was up against younger men,” Moon told Reuters by phone.

Moon, who turns 80 this year, follows a strict diet and training regime. “I train five days a week, two hours on exercises and cardio and I also walk three or four kilometres a day on the treadmill,” he said.

“I’m on a high protein diet,” he added.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Break Through to a Better You

This is such good information so I posted it directly to this blog.

Posted on: Saturday, 2 August 2008, 03:00 CDT
By Stoppani, Jim Finkel, Jon

IF YOU'RE BEING HELD PRISONER BY A NASTY TRAINING RUT, HERE ARE 97 WAYS TO BUST OUT - AND STAY OUT-FOR GOOD WHEN IT COMES TO HELPINC YOU BREAK through your training plateaus, we knew a sprinkling of tips wouldn't cover it. After some discussion, we figured even a "healthy dose" of workout strategies just wasn't enough. A ton? A boatload? Nope - we decided only an avalanche of tips would be sufficient in providing you with the information you need to be your very best. How many tips are in an avalanche, you ask? Well, turns out that after poring over every conceivable way to help you improve your workouts, 97 tips constitutes an avalanche. Now get reading and break through your training rut today!
1 Keep a training log
Only by utilizing a bodybuilding diary can you objectively and accurately assess your progress, isolate trouble spots and devise actual solutions to your problems. Be sure to list every workout - exercises, sets, reps and weight. Include other cogent facts such as personal bests in weight lifted or reps completed, as well as how you felt that day.
2 Keep track of your bodyweight
Check your bodyweight once a week on the same scale and at the same time - ideally, in the morning before you eat - on the same day. During a massbuilding program, a realistic weight gain is 1-2 pounds per week. Any more than that and the increase may be in the form of fat. By recording your bodyweight consistently, you'll get an accurate read on whether you're hitting your goals.
3 Don't add too much bodyfat
On the other hand, if the inch you're pinching around your waist is not-so-subtly expanding to 2 or 3, you're overeating. While muscle can grow only so fast, bodyfat can increase rapidly. Keep bodyfat gains to a minimum by eating only slightly more calories than you need to maintain your bodyweight.
4 Know your routine before you walk Into the gym
Always plan your workout in advance so you're mentally prepared for the training session. Knowing which muscle group (or groups) you'll hit, the exercises you'll use, and the set and rep ranges you'll employ will put you on the fast track to muscle growth.
5 Focus on quality, not quantity, In ab training
You often hear about fit guys performing 1,000 crunches in a session, but you don't hear professional bodybuilders say that. Why? One thousand crunches is a cardio workout. It'll burn a lot of calories (fairly inefficiently), but it won't leave behind a ripped sixer. A well-delineated six-pack comes from the intensity of individual ab movements. If you can perform more than zo reps in any set, you ain't workin' hard enough. Time to add some resistance.
6 Press for size
For maximum hypertrophy, use the seated barbell shoulder press or Smith machine version. Keep reps in the 6-8 range and do your heavy pressing movements first in your delt workout when you're freshest and strongest.
7 Work with a training partner
A reliable gym partner provides the necessary motivation to diet and train hard enough to make substantive progress. A knowledgeable, sensitive partner can help make your workouts more effective and rewarding while accelerating your progress. The relationship should be symbiotic, with each of you highlighting the other's strengths and working on one another's weaknesses.
8 Powerlift for size
Make squats, deadlifts and bench presses the core of your mass- building program. Add other compound movements such as shoulder presses, incline presses, barbell curls and lying triceps extensions and you have a potent routine.
9 Change your program often
Nothing works forever. If you stick with the same routine month after month, your body will adapt to and anticipate that workout, no matter how intense it may be. The end result: Your body will stop growing. Avoid this by modifying your training program every 4-8 weeks.
10 Vary your exercise order
Many bodybuilders start every workout for a particular bodypart with the same exercise. This, however, teaches your muscles to adapt instead of grow. Change your exercise order every second or third session, adding and substituting exercises liberally so your muscles don't know what to expect. That's what makes them grow.
11 Warm up appropriately
Start each workout with five minutes of stationary biking or similar cardio option. For each bodypart, perform two light sets of 10-20 reps of an appropriate exercise before starting your working sets.
12 Keep forearm, ab and calf work at the end
Always do your forearm, ab and calf routines at the end of your workouts. Because you rely on these muscles for most exercises - forearms for grip, abs for core strength and calves for a solid stance - they'll compromise your strength if they're fatigued. Always train them after major bodyparts.
13 Train complementary bodyparts together
To aid recovery, pair complementary bodyparts such as back and biceps - both pulling muscles. With this plan your bi's have longer to recover than if you trained your back and biceps on different days. Another complementary pairing is chest and triceps - both pushing muscles.
14 Train opposing bodyparts together
Yes, this is the opposite of No. 13, but if you've been training complementary bodyparts for a while, try pairing opposing bodyparts. This is an equally valid gym philosophy. Train chest and biceps together, and back and tri's. You'll be stronger during arms training.
15 Use training cycles to add muscle mass
Maximum strength gains are made possible by dividing your workout year into distinct training cycles. Comrponly referred to as periodization, thi: system is based on the fact that con inual heavy- duty training doesn't lead to optimal progress. The body instead responds to gradual increases and decreases in intensity, so switch between light weights/high reps and heavy weights/low reps.
16 Work on your weaknesses
Many bodybuilders make the mistake of focusing on what they perceive is their strengths while ignoring their weaknesses. The best athletes concentrate on bringing up their weak areas to achieve symmetry and balanve. If a smaller bodypart is weak, emphasize it by training it first after two days of rest.
17 Don't neglect minor bodyparts
With all the emphasis on legs, chest and back, many trainees ignore the smaller muscle groups that complete the picture of perfect symmetry. Be sure to train traps, calves and forearms in your weekly split.
18 Work stabilizer muscles
A good many bodybuilders develop shoulder, low-back or knee problems because they build their strength and major muscle groups beyond the point at which stabilizer muscles can work effectively. Keep your stabilizers in mind as you train. To avoid in ury, add movements such as rotator cuff exercises, back extensions and core moves.
19 Use proper form
To develop precise technique, do every rep with good form. Beginners, strive to keep the rep target inside your strength capabilities. Find the right groove for each exercise. Don't train to failure when you're just starting out.
20 Cultivate the mind-muscle connection
Research confirms that tuning in to the mind-muscle connection can optimize your results in the gym. Visualize your target muscle growing as you complete every rep. Remember, it's not the amount of weight on the bar that's important; it's the effect ofthat weight on the muscle that leads to increases in the size and power you're after.
21 Start basic
Most workouts for your major bodyparts should start with basic, multijoint exercises that allow you to lift more weight, such as the bench press for chest, overhead press for delts, barbell row for back and squat for legs. This will allow you to lift heavier on these exercises while you're fresh and better stimulate muscle growth.
22 Strap it
Research shows that wrist straps help bodybuilders complete more sets on pulling exercises, such as most back moves. To get your back to grow, you need to complete as many reps as possible with a given weight. Worried about your grip strength? Train your grip after the back workout.
23 Use a belt
A weight belt is a must when you go heavy on exercises such as squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses and barbell rows.
24 Be in tune
Listening to your favorite music while you train can make a world of difference in your strength, research confirms. Use a portable MP3 player and make sure your playlist is stocked with plenty of music that gets you pumped up for your workout.
25 Stretch after training
Research data show that stretching before workouts not only doesn't reduce your chance of injury but can also decrease your strength. We recommend stretching after the workout as a cool-down when your muscles are more flexible.
26 Rest less between sets
Taking a shorter rest period between sets can increase the metabolic effect of weight training. It also increases the intensity, forcing your muscles to work before they're fully recovered from the previous set. Research also shows that resting less can further boost growth hormone (GH) levels.
27 Rest more between sets
An opposing but equally effective strategy is to rest longer between sets. Take five minutes between sets of squats to allow for full recovery so you can perform more reps. Learn to use the length of your rest period - whether you go longer or shorter - to intensify your workouts and enhance gains.
28 Take a different angle
Changing up the angles you use while training will help you hit different muscle fibers in each major group. For example, do dumbbell presses at zero, 20, 30 and 45 degrees. This applies to your grip as well as the bench angle. For example, try barbell curls with a variety of hand-grip widths from as wide to as narrow as you can go. These small adjustments can make a big impact on your muscle gains. WEIDER TRAINING PRINCIPLES
29 Utilize forced reps
Forced reps are a way to extend a set and maintain intensity beyond failure. When you reach initial failure in a set, have your training partner give you just the right amount of assistance to help you through 2-3 more reps. By prolonging the set past the normal point or failure, you optimize the stress placed on the muscle fibers and therefore overload the targeted muscles. Attempt forced reps during only your last set of a particular exercise. Research confirms that forced reps lead to greater GH levels and enhance fat loss.
30 Overload the muscle to stimulate growth
The key to hypertrophy is forcing the muscle to respond to an increased workload. Using the overload principle continually forces muscles to respond and adapt to a task they aren't accustomed to, so they must adjust by getting strong enough to handle the load.
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31 Pre-exhaust the muscle when working large bodyparts
When training thighs, for example, do three sets of leg extensions to fatigue the quads before moving on to leg presses, and use a lighter weight than usual here. These lighter presses help fatigue the quads to the max without putting your joints, tendons and ligaments under too much pressure.
32 Try split routines to maximize efficiency
With split routines you'll likely hit a few bodyparts on one day, a few others on another day and still others on a third day. This allows you to train on successive days, as some bodyparts rest while you train others.
Cable exercises provide constant tension on the muscles
33 Experiment with the rest-pause method
As with forced reps, you can use this strength-building principle at the end of a set to extend it beyond failure. With machine presses, for instance, rest 10-15 seconds at the end of a set to regain strength, do more reps before another io-15-second rest interval, then perform even more reps as a coup de grace.
34 Use partial reps to up the intensity ante
When forced reps aren't practical for boosting intensity, give partial reps a try. After reaching failure on an exercise, continue to lift the weight as high as possible - whether that means doing three-quarter reps, half reps or quarter reps - to thoroughly fry the muscle.
35 Use negative reps
Another way to extend a set beyond failure is to resist the weight as it moves through the negative (eccentric) part of the rep. Lower the weight as slowly as possible to maximize the stress on the muscle fibers that control the negative.
36 Use drop sets to maintain intensity
Drop sets are practical for anyone training alone and applicable to exercises that make forced reps inefficient or all but impossible. During seated dumbbell curls, for instance, drop the weights at the point of failure and pick up dumbbells that are 20%- 30% lighter to squeeze out more reps. Maintaining intensity past the point of failure is the name of the game.
Use cable movements for constant tension
When you use dumbbells, a feeling of extreme muscular tension doesn't occur until nearly halfway through the upward swing on, say, a lateral raise. With cables, however, severe muscular tension is constant throughout the movement. Add cable exercises to all upper- body workouts to apply continuous tension to these muscle groups.
38 Learn how to cheat
Use the cheating principle only when you reach failure at the end of a set. When you're unable to complete a full rep with perfeet form on, say, barbell curls, bend slightly forward and then backward as you begin the curl, enlisting upper-body momentum to power the rep. This prolongs the set and increases muscular stress. Perform cheating reps on only the last set of an exercise, and then for only 2-3 reps.
39 Superset
There are few better ways to boost training intensity and reduce gym time than with the superset - doing two exercises backto-back without rest. You can train one muscle group or two different bodyparts this way. The lack of rest between sets will boost training intensity and GH levels for better growth, and you'll be out of the gym in less time.
40 Giant sets for a giant pump
A giant set is a series of 4-6 exercises for one bodypart done in quick succession. With chest, for example, you could do a giant set of incline presses, pullovers, flyes and dips with or Iy as much rest between sets as it tak:s to get to the next exercise. This flu shes blood to the muscles being worked and greatly increases training intensity and effect.
41 Schedule rest days
If your workouts constiute 100% effort - an absolute must for making steady progress - then you need to schedule days off from strength training to ensure adequate recuperation. Spend too much time in the gym and you won't grow! Unless you're preparing for a contest, make a four- or five-days-a-week training regimen your limit.
42 Avoid overtraining
Don't be stubborn about ignoring the signs of overtraining or your workouts will become counterproductive. Telltale symptoms of overtraining include loss of appetite, joint aches, nausea, a negative attitude, trouble sleeping, irritability, fatigue and even a general listless feeling. The cure is to take a vacation from the gym for 1-2 weeks, let your body regroup and then come back like a lion.
43 Listen to your body
Often, bodybuilders go to the gym with a routine already in mind. They're so focused on performing that workout that they don't listen to feedback from their bodies. But strength and muscle gains are made in a cyclical fashion rather than a linear one. Some days you may not be as strong as on other days. Learn to accept that instead of trying to force your body to achieve what's not possible. You can't improve on your previous workout every time you train.
44 Don't train unless you're fully recovered
Too many bodybuilders go to the gym to work out simply because they're supposed to do it that day. While it's important to have a schedule, you should adhere to it intelligently. If you're still tight and sore from the previous week's training or you feel halfhearted, don't force yourself to endure a workout if you think another day's rest might improve your performance.
Healthy meals lead to healthy muscles
45 Get a good night's sleep
Bodybuilders need more rest than the average Joe. Exercise and weight training place great demands on the body, and sleep helps the body recover better than any other activity. Make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep a night, and strive to get an extra half- hour or so on days you train.
46 Take an afternoon nap
When possible, aid your recovery by taking a nap in the afternoon. While it may be impractical for many people because of work or school obligations, take the opportunity when it presents itself to get a little sleep during the day. Even 20 minutes can have an amazing restorative and recuperative effect on the body.
47 Incorporate relaxation techniques
Relaxation leads to recovery. It Kelps reduce levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol, which competes with testosterone, so relaxing can indirectly help you boost your T levels. Relaxation techniques can be as simple as spending an evening watching TV, listening to calming music or getting a massage. Yoga, stretching, acupuncture, acupressure and hydrotherapy can also be effective.
48 Take a week off
The body needs an occasional respite from the gym. Taking a a one- week break every 3-4 months a lows you to mentally and physically recover from the rigors of balls-out training. Plus, your muscles grow during recovery, not during workouts, and a one-week period of active rest can be beneficial to achieving your goals.
49 Maintain consistency
Bodybuilding workouts are best done an average of 4-5 times per week. Bodybuilding nutrition is best done an average of seven days a week, every week. While you'll make adjustments from day to day depending on your goals, you must be consistent with your diet.
50 Eat for size
Many bodybuilders are hardgainers, and they learned to overcome this genetic predisposition by eating for size. Eating a few extra quality calories at every meal adds up over the course of the day. The bodybuilder who eats just past satisfaction is the one who will consume the extra calories necessary for growth.
51 Eat several meals a day
One of the most challenging aspects of being a bodybuilder is eating the requisite meals. Trainees often have huge appetites because of their caloric expenditure, and they're able to consume large quantities in one sitting. To most effectively get what you need from your calories, however, a better strategy is to divide your intake over six - if not 7-8 - meals each day.
52 Eat balanced meals
If you think bodybuilding nutrition is all about protein, think again. It's really about providing your body with the optimal balance of foods at every meal. Eat a balance of protein, slow- digesting carbs, healthy fats and vegetables.
53 Keep nutrient Intake steady throughout the day
Part of the reason behind eating several meals a day is to provide your body with a steady stream of nutrients. It's important to not only eat six meals a day but to eat healthy fats, quality protein and complex carbs at every meal to continually supply your body with what it needs to grow.
54 Consume adequate protein
Bodybuilders know they must eat quality protein - nothing is more crucial to muscle-building. Without protein, you simply can't provide your body with the most rudimentary tool for growth. Make sure to consume at least e gram of protein per pound of body weight every day.
55 Eat slowdigesting carbs Gym rats often avoid carbohydrates for fear they'll add too much bodyfat. Most amateur bodybuilders eat plenty of carbs, but they choose simple or starchy carbs at the expense of the more beneficial slow-digesting carbohydrates. Emphasize foods such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal, fruit, brown rice, whole-grain breads and pastas, and quinoa in your diet. These foods, along with protein, most encourage muscle growth.
56 Eat fast-digesting carbs
Okay, we know this contradicts the previous rule, but there is a time for fast carbs: immediately after workouts when they'll boost insulin and help drive muscle recovery and growth. Go with 40-100 grams of fast-digesting carbs from sources such as sports drinks, white bread, fat-free candy like jellybeans or sorbet.
57 Eat healthy fats
As a bodybuilder, you need healthy fats for optimal hormone production and immune function and for a sense of well-being. Include moderate portions of healthy fats with most of your meals. Excellent sources include canola and olive oils, nuts and seeds, avocados and fatty fish such as salmon.
58 Get a variety of protein sources
Individual variance prevents prescribing the absolute best bodybuilding nutrition regimen. Some lifters swear by red meat, saying they feel stronger when they eat it, perhaps because of the iron and creatine it contans. Others prefer fish or chicken, saying they have trouble digesting red meat. Your best bet is to utilize a variety of protein sources such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy to reap the benefits of each.
59 Avoid low-fat diets
One of the worst trends in bodybuilding nutrition was the low- fat diet. Good fats offer many benefits to the body; even saturated fats provide a sense of satiety and fulfillment, not to mention they boost testosterone levels. Without fats, you aren't giving your body what it craves and what it needs to build muscle. Emphasize good fats, but don't completely exclude bad fats.
62 Avoid trans fats
There's one type of fat you do want to avoid at any cost: trails fats. These manmade fats can be listed on labels as hydrogenated oil or p irtially hardened vegetable oil. Trans fats not only harm your health but can impair muscle recovery and increase riuscle breakdown.
61 Eat plenty of fiber
As a rule, bodybuilding foods don't contain as much fiber as bodybuilders need. The best solution is to eat whole foods that are high in fiber such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds. Using a fiber supplement is also an option. While these products lack the nutrients of whole food, they do provide the fiber your bod y needs.
62 Drink enough water
Water is the great purifier, and bodybuilders especially need purification. It's also essential for keeping muscles full, and a drop in body water that's just 2% of your bodyweight can significantly decrease your strength. In effect, the larger you are and the more food you consume, the more water you need on a daily basis. A zoo-pound bodybuilder should drink at least a gallon of water per day in addition to other beverages.
63 Break the fast
If you're of those guys who can't stomach the thought of food until a couple of hours after waking up, you'd better adapt. The nightlong fast causes your body to break down your muscle fibers for fuel, so you need to eat protein and carbs ASAP upon waking. Your best bet is a fast-digesting protein like whey and a piece of fruit.
64 Prepare for your workout
Before every training session, fuel up with about 20 grams of whey protein and some slow-digesting carbs. Both will provide long- lasting energy throughout your workout without blunting fat- burning.
65 Eat immediately after workouts
As soon as your workout is over, it's time to refuel with about 40 grams of whey protein and 40-80 grams of fast-digesting carbs. These work together to enhance recovery and push muscle growth forward.
66 Eat for condition
Calories are essential for growth, but certain calories will more likely spur hypertrophy while others encourage fat gain. Avoid excess sugar and starchy carbs, as these will undermine your condition. By monitoring your diet, you can maintain conditioning and add muscle.
67 Avoid feeling hungry
When you're hungry, you're in a potentially catabolic state in which your body uses muscle tissue for energy. Once your blood sugar dips below a certain level, your body begins to search for another source of energy, and it turns to muscle much more readily than bodyfat. Take that sense of hunger as a warning that your muscles are under siege, and fight it off with a well-balanced bodybuilding meal.
68 Allow yourself a cheat day
Bodybuilders often feel that cheating on their diets sabotages their goals. The solution? Schedule a little cheating, such as allowing yourself a hamburger on the weekend. Likewise, a small piece of cheesecake after dinner won't destroy your physique. In fact, it may help it in the long run: By cheating in moderation, you maintain your sanity and give yourself a much-deserved reward.
69 Don't obsess about calories
Some trainees weigh every mouthful of food, calculating every fraction of a gram and every calorie. The problem with that strategy is that it's still only an approximation. A better way is to learn to use internal and external cues such as hunger, your appearance in the mirror, bodyfat tests and scales. These will give you more valuable information than merely weighing your food.
70 Keep track of calories
On tne other hand, calories always count, and you can't add bodyweight (good or bad) unless you take in more calories than you burn. You should get in about 18-22 calories per pound of body weight per day to put on quality mass, but don't let it consume your life. Learn to estimate instead of obsess.
71 Casein between meals
For hardgainers, it's often difficult to consume enough calories every day to promote adequate gains. What you eat can have a major impact on your hunger levels and ability to eat big. Consuming 20- 40 grams of casein protein in shake form between meals can help you get in adequate protein and calories without filling ycu up and limiting what you eat at your next meal. Research shows that a sein doesn't boost levels of hunger-blunting hormones the way whey protein does.
72 Plan and prepare meals ahead of time
Time can be the great enemy of bod ybuilding nutrition. Eating six meals a day is time-consuming, and preparing that many meals is even more so. Learn to prepare several meals at once. Find foods that are palatable and take prepared meals along with you. That way you aren't at the mercy of fast food or a schedule that doesn't allow for a break.
73 Eat like a bodybuilder in restaurants
When you eat out, you don't have to mtomatically go off your bodybuilding diet. Order simple meals to your specifications. Focus on meat dishes such as chicken breast or lean red meats without sauces. Order vegetables and salads as sides instead of fatty or starchy alternatives.
74 Learn to read labels
Just because a particular food is bodybuilding-friendly doesn't mean it measures up once it has been packaged. Take peanut butter, for example. Lowfat varieties often contain the same number of calories as regular versions. For every fat calorie that's removed, a sugar calorie is added - a bad tradeoff for bodybuilders. Learn to read labels so you know exactly what you're getting.
75 Learn to substitute
Ideal bodybuilding foods won't always be available, and some lifters get stressed when they're forced to eat foods off their diets or nothing at all. Interestingly, the stress itself is probably more harmful to your physique than the food. Make the best of the situation and eat to satisfy your hunger. You can always be more rigorous with your diet later on. Check out fast-food alternatives in "Four-Alarm Foods" on page 102.
76 Slow down at night
Before bed, you need to protect your muscles from the attack that occurs during the night. Since your body turns to your muscles for fuel while you sleep, you need to give it an alternate protein source. Taking 20-40 grams of casein protein or eating some cottage cheese will provide the long-lasting protein your body needs to protect your muscle overnight.
77 Take glutamine four times a day
Many bodybuilders take glutamine, but not all of them take it as often as they should. M&F considers glutamine to be a very effective supplement. Its effects are subtle at first, aiding in digestion and strengthening your immune system, then leading to quicker recovery from the stress of training. Take 5-10 grams of this amino acid with breakfast, before and after workouts, and before bed.
78 Take creatine preand postworkout
Creatine can be taken any time of day, but the most effective times are before and after you train, along with protein and carbs. Research confirms that those who take creatine at these times experience gains in muscle and strength significantly higher than those who take creatine at other times of day.
79 Take a multivitamin every day
The limitations of a bodybuilding diet often don't provide athletes with all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need, especially if they give short shrift to vegetables and fruits. Since bodybuilders have greater nutrient needs than the average person, taking a multivitamin every day can ensure that you get all the nutrients you need for optimal gains.
80 Supplement vitamins C and E
Of all vitamins, C and E are the two most important to supplement. Both are antioxidants that fight free radicals and assist in your recovery from training. Take 1-2 grams of vitamin C and 400-800 IU of vitamin E every day.
81 Use ZMA
ZMA is a combination, of zinc and magnesium aspartate plus vitamin Bf that has been shown to increase testosterone and insulinlike growth factor-i, as well as boost strength and power. Take ZMA shortly before bedtime, preferably on an empty stomach for best results.
82 Something's fishy
Taking 1-3 grams of fish oil twice a day with meals is one of the smartest things a bodybuilder can do. Fish oil not only is beneficial to your heart health but it enhances joint recovery, boosts fat loss and aids muscle growth as well. 83 Branch out
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are comprised of three aminos - leucine, isoleucine and valine - that are most critical for muscle recovery and growth. That's because they boost muscle protein synthesis and even blunt levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol. Go with 5-10 grams of BCAAs in the morning, and before and after workouts.
84 Boost it
Using a nitric oxide (NO) booster containing arginine will help increase muscle mass and strength because NO helps regulate muscle growth and dilates blood vessels. Greater blood-vessel dilation promotes blood flow, which allows more blood - along with more oxygen, nutrients and anabolic hormones - to be delivered to the muscles. This gives you more energy and bigger pumps to carry you through your intense workouts as well as better recovery and growth afterward. Choose an NO booster that provides at least 3-5 grams of arginine, and take it as soon as you wake up in the morning and then again 30-45 minutes before workouts on an empty stomach.
85 Get caffeinated
Before workouts, a 200-400-mg dose of caffeine will boost your training intensity as well as your muscle strength. Caffeine has been shown in numerous studies to increase endurance and strength during workouts and to blunt muscle pain, which can help you train with more intensity.
86 Incline to build your chest
Performing bench presses at a 30-degree incline is the No. 1 pecbuilder. Bench to build your chest, not to press more weight. Often, the bench press turns into an ego exercise because lifters care more about how much weight they can lift. Instead, concentrate on the feeling in your chest. Feel the stretch in your pecs as you lower the weight, and press it up using your chest strength, not your shoulders.
87 Perform flye movernents with moderate weights
As with other chest exercises, lifters tend to use the heaviest weight possible on flyes. Yet this often recruits your shoulders into the movement. Choose a weight that allows you to feel a deep stretch across your pecs. Try dropping 10 pounds and slowing each rep, but don't increase the quantity.
88 Squat with proper form
Too many bodybuilders think the purpose of squatting is to put as much weight as possible across their backs. Instead, try to stimulate as much muscle growth as possible in your quads, hamstrings and glutes by using a weight that allows you to squat with proper form. Keep your back tight, holding its natural curvature throughout the movement. Descend, stretching your glutes and hamstrings, and press back up through your heels. Now that's a squat.
89 Have a spotter when squatting
Due to the heavy load and the mechanics of the exercise, you should always have a spotter - preferably two - when performing to- the-max squats. This can help you power through an extra rep.
90 Incorporate both seated and standing calf raises
Many bodybuilders bomb their calves with five or more sets of either standing or seated calf raises, but a better strategy is to include 2-3 sets of each. Seated calf raises target the soleus while standing calf raises target the gastrocnemius. For complete calf development, you need to target both.
91 Make deadlifts a part of your training
Too often deadlifts are considered strictly a powerlifter's exercise. This myth needs to be put to rest. When performed correctly, deadlifts are an excellent bodybuilding exercise. This compound move builds the entire body better than any other single exercise (even squats!). If you use strict form, deadlifts can help build your upper and lower back, abs, glutes and legs. They also increase your overall strength, making you stronger for other movements.
92 Go heavy on barbell rows
This is an out-and-out mass-builder for the back, but you must be able to handle as much weight as possible while still maintaining strict form. Rely on the overload principle to shock the muscles into growth and add density to your entire back.
93 Add a supinating movement for biceps
When you supinate (turn your wrist out) at the top of the movement in a dumbbell curl, you take your biceps through its full range of motion, helping to develop the muscle more fully.
94 Warm up thoroughly for delt training
A proper warm-up routine is necessary for all bodyparts, but this is especially true for the injury-prone shoulder joints. Always warm up with a light series of lateral, front and bent-over raises. One set of each with 20 reps increases blood flow to and flexibility in the target zone, decreasing your risk of injury.
95 Use proper form with lateral raises
For many, the goal with lateral raises seems to be to swing the weights up. Instead, your objective should be to feel a contraction in your middle delts at the top of the movement. The weight should be moderate enough that you can also control the rep cadence as you lower the weights.
96 Use dumbbell shrugs to build your traps
Dumbbells offer several distinct advantages over barbells to bring up the traps. The principal benefits are a fuller range of motion and a "squeeze" that will help improve all aspects of the trapezius musculature.
97 Keep learning

Monday, June 16, 2008

Soul meets body

Glasgow takes serene approach to bodybuilding.

All Laurie Hines wanted to do was cross something off her bucket list. She wanted to compete in a bodybuilding contest once before she died. To do so, she needed a trainer. His name was Ted Glasgow. She never figured that 15 years later, they’d still be together.

But that’s the kind of guy Glasgow is. People are drawn to him.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Chattanooga: Female bodybuilders work to maintain their feminine edge

As bodybuilding becomes more popular among women, it’s hard to balance family, work, school and workouts said personal trainers Deanna Hoffman, mother of two, and 20-year-old Hannah Wilson.

“More (women) are starting to understand that female bodybuilding is not meant to be a freak show,” said Ms. Hoffman, a personal trainer at the Wellness Steps of Bradley County. “As a woman, you must maintain the feminine edge; never let someone looking at you forget you are a woman.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Comeback king Lee is bodybuilding champion

OUR comeback bodybuilder has done it.

Lee Callaghan, who nearly lost his arm after a horrific garden accident, is the National Amateur Bodybuilding Association’s Mr Wales.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Train Smart For A Better Body

HE won the flyweight (60kg) category at the National Junior Bodybuilding Championship in 2006.

But recently, Muhammed Farhan has been feeling too embarrassed to be associated with the sport.

The 18-year-old ITE student told The New Paper: 'I was quite embarrassed when some of my classmates showed me newspaper reports about the recent doping scandal. They asked me: 'Hey, this is your sport, right?'.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Building the body, beating stereotypes

A year ago, 41-year-old Delaina Allen was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and could barely walk or make it through her daily routine.

Despite her doctor's words that she'd never set foot in a gym, she worked with a personal trainer in hopes of feeling "normal" again.

For the full story click here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bodybuilding Requires Discipline

Fitness Matters: Bodybuilding requires 'disciplined' lifestyle

Training for a bodybuilding or figure competition isn't for the weak. Not only are you building muscle and losing body fat, but you are embarking on a tough mental battle that spans approximately 12 weeks, sometimes more.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Natural bodybuilding is something the whole family can enjoy

The Iatomasis are Rochester's first family of bodybuilders.Dad Paul, 45; son Paul Jr., 24; and son Dan, 22, compete in regional competitions and have a closet full of medals to show for all their hard work. Paul and Paul Jr. are the first father-son team to earn their pro cards from the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation.

The Greece family promotes steroid-free bodybuilding and living healthy lifestyles. Paul Iatomasi Sr., a 2007 inductee into the Natural Bodybuilding Hall of Fame, is 5-11, 190 pounds and competes as a heavyweight. In bodybuilding events that don't test for illegal substances, heavyweights his height can easily be 80 pounds heavier.

"It's a big difference," he said. "Natural bodybuilders, we're more muscular than your average guy but we also are very healthy looking with small waists."
Paul Sr. enjoys watching his sons compete more than competing himself."This is a great family sport because no matter what age or gender, everyone can compete together," he said on the hall of fame Web site. "A true natural bodybuilder has to get the most out of their genetics without the use of any chemical enhancement."

Here's a primer on pumping up:

History: The first physique competitions can be traced to the early 1900s and took place in London and New York City. The 1977 film Pumping Iron helped popularize the sport. It featured actor and current California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, who starred as the Incredible Hulk.

Science: Muscle building occurs through a combination of weight lifting or resistance machine training, proper caloric intake and rest. According to researchers, lifting weights causes micro-tears in the muscles and is the cause of soreness. When these tears repair, muscle growth occurs. Without rest, this muscle-building process won't occur. Bodybuilders are always on the lookout for overtraining.

Bodybuilding as sport: In competition, bodybuilders show off their physiques before judges who award points based on standards set for symmetry, muscularity and vascular appeal. Oils, tanning lotions and lighting enhance appearance but most important is the competitor's ability to strike required poses that show off muscle groups.

Training: Seeking the guidance of a professional trainer is a must. Weight training and nutrition are complicated topics with safety and health at stake. Foods high in carbohydrates and proteins are used with vitamins and dietary supplements to build muscle mass and definition. Anabolic steroids are a shortcut experts warn strongly against due to serious health risks. Books are written just on the art of posing.

For women, too: While many females fear lifting weights will give them undesirable muscle mass, strength training is important for building healthy bones and warding off osteoporosis. Women not interested in developing bodybuilding bodies can take part in general fitness and figure contests.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What You Need to Know About Cardio Exercise.

Cardio is short for cardiovascular, which refers to the heart. Cardiovascular exercise is exercise that raises your heart rate and keeps it elevated for a period of time. Another name for it is aerobic exercise. The kinds of exercise that are associated with cardiovascular workouts are things like jogging, fast walking, and swimming where there is no break in the routine. Exercises that stop and start, like Pilates, are generally not considered cardio exercise, though pilates can be done in a cardio way, and can certainly be combined with cardio workouts to great effect.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Active Life: Building beyond the body

What comes to mind when you think of bodybuilding? Do you think of a male-dominated, competitive sport, centered around lifting weights and looking in the mirror? Well, local bodybuilders Serge Bien-Aime and Teresa Oxford are hear to prove you wrong.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tough Cookie

The introduction of gender legislation has no doubt redefined the role of women in society. Since the passing of the law, the country has seen the emergence of a new breed of women.

They are tough and bold, and are not afraid to take the bull by its horns as they take their rightful place in society. They are taking the lead in fields once reserved for men only.

Nivea Sekele, 29, a bus driver and bodybuilder, is one such woman. Stationed in Roodepoort on the West Rand, Seleke is one of the few black women bodybuilders and bus drivers in Gauteng and is making no fuss about it.